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The cancellation of the Irish Sailing All-Ireland Junior Championships this weekend is “a big disappointment” for all involved, both those competing and being the scenes, the governing body has said.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the event scheduled for Schull in West Cork was called off in the wake of new coronavirus travel restrictions for Dublin, where more than half of competitors are based.

Sixteen youth sailors and their crew from 10 classes had been looking forward to racing in Schull Harbour in a unique event that sees all nominees compete in the same class of boat — this year would have been the turn of the TR3.6s.

“We were so disappointed to cancel the Junior All Irelands – the level of sailing is excellent and it’s always a fun event,” said Irish Sailing’s chief executive Harry Hermon.

“Personally, I was looking forward to it as I’ve seen so many young people around the country doing a lot of sailing this summer, and I wanted to chat to this group about what they’d experienced.

“I’d like to highlight as well the huge amount of work done behind the scenes right up until the point of cancellation, and I’d like to thank the hosts Fastnet Marine and Outdoor Education Centre, the organising committee and the large number of volunteers who make these events such a pleasure to work on.”

The list of successful nominees was released last week and included five girls, two Irish Sailing Academy sailors, and five Laser sailors.

There was a good mix of club representation but Howth Yacht Club just pipped the lead with three members on the list: Eve McMahon, Johnny Flynn and Luke Turvey.

The list included two family teams (Trevor and Russell Bolger, and Charlie and Lucia Cullen, all RStGYC), one set of twins (Conor and Jack Galligan, Greystones SC), and two siblings on different teams (Clementine and Nathan van Steenberge, National YC).

There were two female-only teams (Chloe Murphy and Abigail Johnston, Lough Ree YC, and Zoe Whitford and Kelly Patterson, East Antrim Boat Club), and Eve McMahon chose her Laser Academy teammate Tom Higgins as crew.

Optimist sailor Ben O’Shaughnessy of the Royal Cork Yacht Club said: “It would have been a great event with great organisation but unfortunately it was cancelled for all the right reasons. I’m looking forward to sailing in the future and getting back to race season.”

Irish Sailing says work has already begun on the 2021 event which will take place on the weekend 25 and 26 September at a venue yet to be confirmed.

Published in ISA

Noted ocean voyager Vera Quinlan has joined the Irish Sailing Board of Directors, where she will head up the Cruising Policy Group.

Vera (of Galway Bay Sailing Club) began sailing at the age of 10 on Lough Derg. She started in a Mirror, then moved to a Laser, and spent many years cruising with her parents in Ireland, France and Scotland. She sailed from Sydney to Hobart in 1988 on board the Sail Training Brigantine Asgard II, and in 2004 fulfilled a lifelong ambition to skipper a yacht across the North Atlantic.

In 2019/20 Vera fulfilled another ambition: an Atlantic-circuit sailing adventure with her family. On board their yacht Danú, a 43 ft Bruce Roberts Mauritius, she and her husband Peter Owens and children Lilian (11) and Ruairi (9) spent fourteen months travelling. Highlights included climbing and hiking in the Pico de Europa, crossing the Atlas Mountains on foot with mules, riding camels in the Sahara, sailing transatlantic in the Trade Winds, exploring the Amazon rivers of French Guiana, and spending ‘lockdown’ in Barbuda exploring its pristine reefs before returning via the Azores and on to Ireland, where she and her family became the Afloat.ie "Sailors of the Month" for July 2020 in recognition of their successful and very complete voyage.

Vera is an active member of Galway Bay Sailing Club and previously held the position of Rear Commodore Training. She is involved in all aspects of cruising through both the Irish Cruising Club and the Ocean Cruising Club. She studied a BSc in Marine Science and Hydrography at Liverpool John Moores University and followed a career in deep water 3D seismic exploration. In 2006 she began work at the Marine Institute of Ireland in Galway and concurrently was awarded an MSc in Coastal Zone management.  She is currently working as a marine scientist on INFOMAR, Ireland’s seabed mapping programme.

Vera is delighted to be able to support Irish Sailing as a board member, and commented: “As a fan of Jacques Cousteau the sea has certainly cast its spell on me…. at sea, I truly feel alive."

Published in ISA

The latest Irish Sailing eSailing National Championship leaderboard reveals the top 10 qualifiers for the Nations Cup playoffs — and the challengers nipping at their heels for the coveted national title.

Irish Sailing’s first eChampionships were launched in early April, and since then 960 Irish players have signed up.

The top 10 ranked Irish sailors on 1 September 2020 will automatically represent Ireland at the eSailing World Championship Finals Playoff which will take place later this month.

Colin Kavanagh of Howth Yacht Club topped the board with Cillian Dickson in second (Howth and Lough Ree).

In third is Olympic sailor Finn Lynch (National YC), who just pipped Roisín McCormack (Foynes YC), president of the Mermaid Sailing Association, for the place.

Making up the rest of the top 10 are Mick Farrell, Paul McLaughlin, Graeme Grant, Andrew Baker, Tom Fox and Ronan Downing.

But it’s the top 20 who will now fight for the position of Irish eSailing National Champion.

The rest of the table in hunt for the national title comprises Ryan Seaton, Colin O’Sullivan, Chris Raymond, Shane Hughes, Max Tipp-McKnight, Cian Mollen, Atlee Kohl, James O’Connor, Michael Lynch and Daniel Raymond.

Playoffs for the domestic championship will be held on Tuesdays 3 and 10 November, with three races each, organised by Emmett Dalton of Howth Yacht Club. The first night will be raced in virtual J70s, followed by 49ers.

Irish Sailing says it wants to encourage as many people as possible to get sailing — with eSailing just one more aspect of this.

“We hope that by engaging with a brand new audience of eSailors, we’ll be able to convert them to real life sailors in the future,” the governing body added.

Irish Sailing teamed up with World Sailing and Virtual Regatta to launch the Irish eSailing National Championship in the middle of the coronavirus restrictions.

The game is free to play online or via app — and with the launch of the Irish version, local players can register as Irish and aim for the top of a new national leaderboard.

Published in ISA
Tagged under

Irish Sailing has welcomed its newest affiliate in the shape of the Galway Hooker Sailing Club.

The club was formed in 2017 when a group of friends came together to revive and retain the Galway Hooker tradition in Galway.

The Galway Hooker is a traditional fishing vessel, built and designed in Galway, and originally dates from the mid 19th century. Their typical red sails are widely seen in logos and brands around the city.

Current club commodore Ciaran Oliver is one of the founding members and together with a current crew of about 100 people has built a steadily growing club with strong links to the local community — particularly through teaching people the skills to sail these iconic vessels.

To learn more, follow the Galway Hooker Sailing Club on Facebook and Instagram or visit their website at GalwayHooker2020.org

Published in Historic Boats

This year’s Watersports Inclusion Games, which had been set for 5-6 September at Lough Derg Yacht Club, have been cancelled over continued coronavirus concerns.

In a statement, Irish Sailing said that “the current trajectory of the virus spread, coupled with the logistics, people involved and format of the event brought us to this decision”.

Ireland’s national governing body for sailing expressed its thanks to all “who worked so hard in trying to bring this year’s Inclusion Games to fruition”.

Lough Derg YC will instead host next year’s games, being planned for 18-29 June 2021.

The news follows the cancellation of the Women at the Helm Regatta later this month over similar concerns.

It is with great reluctance that Irish Sailing have decided, along with hosts the National Yacht Club, to cancel the Women at the Helm regatta that had been set to take place later this month, writes Gail McAllister.

Despite the tremendous energy behind the event, the health and safety of sailors is our number one priority, and in the light of the ongoing Covid-19 situation and the complexities arising from this it became clear that the event could not go ahead.

Irish Sailing are extremely disappointed for yet another event to be lost to Covid this year, but now look forward to next year and the Women at the Helm in Royal Cork Yacht Club on the weekend of Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th September 2021.

On a personal note, I would like to thank everyone for their incredible support and enthusiasm for Women at the Helm as an event and the Take the Helm campaign to encourage more women to move into positions of leadership. The campaign goes beyond the race course and creates leaders on committees, instructor teams and management.

A group of volunteer race officials have worked together to create a guidance document to help in planning and implementing safe and happy sailing events for the season ahead.

Irish Sailing has now published these guidelines, with details on planning, timelines, risk assessment and other considerations and controls for running both major national and smaller local events during the coronavirus pandemic.

This is an active working document and will be updated as Government guidelines changes throughout this pandemic. See the current full guidance document (as of 8 July 2020) attached below.

Irish Sailing has issued it latest guidance document to take into account the easing of Covid-19 restrictions announced by Government last week, and which come into effect from Monday 29 June. (Downloadable below)

Essentially, there is little change in the transition from Phase 3 to 4, so this plan is likely to direct how our sports will be organised for the foreseeable future.

As Afloat reported here, the plan also outlines how a proposed pod system in order to facilitate racing that begins again under phase 3.

Tagged under

This event has now been cancelled over continued concerns surrounding Covid-19. For more see HERE.

The National Yacht Club has confirmed that its planned hosting of the Irish Sailing Women at the Helm National Regatta will go ahead as scheduled on 29-30 August.

Organisers are planning for a safe social and sailing environment and working within the Irish Sailing and Government guidelines to ensure the safety of all participants and volunteers, as well as the local community.

CANCELKLEDThe success of last year’s inaugural event at the NYC “shows what a great opportunity the regatta is to showcase the strength and leadership of women in sport and their ability to adapt in a changing environment”, the club said.

Women at the Helm aims to encourage women to move from shore to boat, crew to helm and club to regional event and generally to take on leadership roles in sailing.

The event is open to PY dinghy and keelboat racing from teens to seniors. Men are welcome to participate but crews must be at least 50% female and all boats must be helmed by women.

Expression of interest registration is now open, and sailors and volunteers can register their interest in helming, crewing, chartering or volunteering. The Notice of Race will be available shortly.

Published in National YC

Irish Sailing has congratulated its Academy athlete Tom Higgins, who has received one of the prestigious Ad Astra Elite Sports Scholarships from UCD.

Nearly 400 school-leavers applied for the 15 Ad Astra Scholarship programme places.

The programme looks for “exceptional, high-achieving students” and allows them to study for their degree alongside the pursuit of their sporting goals, with both financial aid and additional supports such as academic mentoring and calendar rescheduling.

It means the athlete, who sails the Laser Radial out of the Royal St George, can balance big competitive events alongside college work without either suffering.

Higgins has completed his studies in Gonzaga College and is awaiting his predicted Leaving Certificate grades. He hopes to pursue a degree in the areas of business, commerce or law.

“The last three months have been strange,” he said. “When the schools first closed, I continued to hit the books, but obviously that all changed.”

He’s been training with the Irish Sailing Team on the water in Dun Laoghaire, and joins them in the video calls for strength and conditioning, cycling sessions and coaching classes.

He’s now looking ahead to the autumn: “We’ve got graduation in September, so I still feel connected with school. Then college starts, and I have the Laser Radial Youth European Championships in Hyeres [in France] at the end of October. It’ll be busy!”

Published in Youth Sailing
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Royal Irish Yacht Club - Frequently Asked Questions

The Royal Irish Yacht Club is situated in a central location in Dun Laoghaire Harbour with excellent access and visiting sailors can be sure of a special welcome. The clubhouse is located in the prime middle ground of the harbour in front of the town marina and it is Dun Laoghaire's oldest yacht club. 

What's a brief history of the Royal Irish Yacht Club?

The yacht club was founded in 1831, with the Marquess of Anglesey, who commanded the cavalry at the Battle of Waterloo being its first Commodore. 

John Skipton Mulvany designed the clubhouse, which still retains a number of original architectural features since being opened in 1851.

It was granted an ensign by the Admiralty of a white ensign with the Coat of Arms of the Kingdom of Ireland beneath the Union Jack in canton.

Many prominent names feature among the past members of the Club. The first Duke of Wellington was elected in 1833, followed by other illustrious men including the eccentric Admiral Sir Charles Napier, Sir Dominic Corrigan the distinguished physician, Sir Thomas Lipton, novelist, George A. Birmingham, yachtsman and author, Conor O'Brien, and famous naval historian and author, Patrick O Brian. 

In the club's constitution, it was unique among yacht clubs in that it required yacht owners to provide the club's commodore with information about the coast and any deep-sea fisheries they encountered on all of their voyages.

In 1846, the club was granted permission to use the Royal prefix by Queen Victoria. The club built a new clubhouse in 1851. Despite the Republic of Ireland breaking away from the United Kingdom, the Royal Irish Yacht Club elected to retain its Royal title.

In 1848, a yachting trophy called "Her Majesty's Plate" was established by Queen Victoria to be contested at Kingstown where the Royal Irish Yacht Club is based. The Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland at the time, George Villiers, 4th Earl of Clarendon suggested it should be contested by the Royal Irish Yacht Club and the Royal St. George Yacht Club in an annual regatta, a suggestion that was approved by both clubs with the Royal St. George hosting the first competitive regatta.

The RIYC celebrated its 185th Anniversary in 2016 with the staging of several special events in addition to being well represented afloat, both nationally and internationally. It was the year the club was also awarded Irish Yacht Club of the Year as Afloat's W M Nixon details here.

The building is now a listed structure and retains to this day all its original architectural features combined with state of the art facilities for sailors both ashore and afloat.

What is the Royal Irish Yacht Club's emblem?

The Club's emblem shows a harp with the figure of Nice, the Greek winged goddess of victory, surmounted by a crown. This emblem has remained unchanged since the foundation of the Club; a symbol of continuity and respect for the history and tradition of the Royal Irish Yacht Club.

What is the Royal Irish Yacht Club's ensign?

The RIYC's original white ensign was granted by Royal Warrant in 1831. Though the Royal Irish Yacht Club later changed the ensign to remove the St George's Cross and replace the Union Jack with the tricolour of the Republic of Ireland, the original ensign may still be used by British members of the Royal Irish Yacht Club

Who is the Commodore of the Royal Irish Yacht Club?

The current Commodore is Joe Costello and the Vice-Commodore is Pat Shannon.

The RIYC Flag Officers are: 

Who is the Chief Executive of the Royal Irish Yacht Club? 

Padraig McCarthy is the RIYC CEO.  Tel  01 280 9452 extn 7 email: [email protected]

What reciprocal club arrangements does the Royal Irish Yacht Club have?  

As one of Ireland's leading club's, the Royal Irish Yacht Club has significant reciprocal arrangements with yacht clubs across Ireland and the UK, Europe, USA and Canada and the rest of the World. If you are visiting from another Club, please have with a letter of introduction from your Club or introduce yourself to the Club Secretary or to a member of management staff, who will show you the Club's facilities.

What car parking does the Royal Irish Yacht Club have at its Dun Laoghaire clubhouse?

The RIYC has car parking outside of its clubhouse for the use of its members. Paid public car parking is available next door to the club at the marina car park. There is also paid parking on offer within the harbour area at the Coatl Harbour (a 5-minute walk) and at an underground car park adjacent to the Royal St. George Yacht Club (a 3-minute walk). Look for parking signs. Clamping is in operation in the harbour area.

What facilities does the Royal Irish Yacht Clubhouse offer? 

The Royal Irish Yacht Club offers a relaxed, warm and welcoming atmosphere in one of the best situated and appointed clubhouses in these islands. Its prestige in yachting circles is high and its annual regatta remains one of the most attractive events in the sailing calendar. It offers both casual and formal dining with an extensive wine list and full bar facilities. The Club caters for parties, informal events, educational seminars, themed dinners and all occasions. The RIYC has a number of venues within the Club each of which provides a different ambience to match particular needs.

What are the Royal Irish Yacht Club's Boathouse facilities?

The RIYC boathouse team run the launch service to the club's swinging moorings, provide lifting for dry-sailed boats, lift and scrub boats, as well as maintaining the fabric of the deck, pontoon infrastructure, and swinging moorings. They also maintain the club crane, the only such mobile crane of the Dun Laoghaire Yacht Clubs.

What facilities are offered for junior sailing at the Royal Irish Yacht Club?

One of the missions of the Royal Irish Yacht Club is to promote sailing as a passion for life by encouraging children and young adults to learn how to sail through its summer courses and class-specific training throughout the year. 

RIYC has an active junior section. Its summer sailing courses are very popular and the club regularly has over 50 children attending courses in any week. The aim is for those children to develop lifelong friendships through sailing with other children in the club, and across the other clubs in the bay.
 
Many RIYC children go on to compete for the club at regional and national championships and some have gone on to represent Ireland at international competitions and the Olympic Regatta itself.
 
In supporting its young sailors and the wider sailing community, the RIYC regularly hosts junior sailing events including national and regional championships in classes such as the Optmist, Feva and 29er.
 
Competition is not everything though and as the club website states:  "Many of our junior sailors have gone on the become sailing instructors and enjoy teaching both in Ireland and abroad.  Ultimately, we take most pleasure from the number of junior sailors who become adult sailors and enjoy a lifetime of sailing with the club". 

At A Glance – Royal Irish Yacht Regatta 2020 Dates

RIYC Regatta 2020: Saturday 27 June

RIYC Junior Regatta 2020: Wednesday 29 July

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